NAPLES, Italy — A NATO exercise beginning this week in Spain will imagine a naval response to the invasion of an allied country.

Dubbed Trident Jaguar, the command post exercise involves staff officers and commanders at the headquarters level and will certify the maritime component of the NATO Response Force, the alliance’s fast-reaction force.

A pair of NATO tasks forces — Naval Striking Force NATO out of Naples and NATO Rapid Deployable Corps-Spain — will come together for the exercise, which runs May 2-16 near Menorca in Spain’s Balearic islands. The Navy command ship USS Mount Whitney, based in Naples, will participate in the exercise.

A NATO official, speaking on background because he was unauthorized to talk about the exercise, said the event is part of regular certifications for the NATO Response Force and had been planned long before events in Ukraine, where Russia’s annexing of the Crimea peninsula and agitation in the east has caused particular worries to NATO members in eastern Europe and the Baltics.

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